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Old 05-14-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default Plastic buckets, glass carboys, or wooden barrels

There is a lot of talk on what kind of vessel to age a Flanders in. I hear plastic buckets permeate too much air, whereas an airlock on a glass carboy doesn't let any air in. I've read about Raj's technique using an oak table leg and letting it act two-fold as a stopper and oak infusion. His method seems totally logical but it can crack the carboy, and how much wood actually sits in the fermenting wort? I was thinking, why not use a permeable foam stopper and oak cubes, thus you know exactly how much wood you've used and you let in more air then an air-lock and less then a plastic bucket. Has anyone used a foam stopper for the long duration?

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Old 05-14-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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If you wanted to do the oak method, you can use a drilled bunge and put an oak dowel through the hole into beer. This will not have as much surface area as the table leg, but will also not crack your carboy.

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Old 05-14-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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yeah i've seen that idea too. was wondering what size dowel and how much of it should be submerged? any ideas?

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Using one of those foam stoppers for bulk aging would be akin to open air aging. I'd think you'd probably end up with vinegar no matter how thick the pellicle.

If you were so inclined, you could shave down the diameter of the oak chairleg/dowel so that the portion that rests in the neck area of the carboy is narrower and widen the stopper opening so you have a small rubber expansion joint. Or just forgo the whittling and use a Better Bottle.

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Old 05-14-2012, 10:35 PM   #5
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what are the advantages of using better bottles for long term storage of the flanders? do they permeate as much air as buckets?

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerBrent View Post
what are the advantages of using better bottles for long term storage of the flanders? do they permeate as much air as buckets?

no they are not as permeable as buckets but they are permeable enough to be a great alternative to wood barrels. on better bottle's website they have links to studies done on the permeability of the various fermentor materials. i have a flanders red in a better bottle right now that will be there another 9-10 months.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:22 AM   #7
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I believe they have similar attributes to a glass carboy, but since they aren't glass, the neck may not crack often wood leg expanded. Ive never used one so I can't say this is actually the case.

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:24 AM   #8
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i use the oak dowel in the bung method (seems so cool to say) in my glass carboys- but my 60 g barrels seem to be getting oxygen a little faster. i have them submerged maybe 10" into the beer. i think oldsock has some info on his blog about the permeability numbers not making a lot of sense (that the numbers typically touted for the large tuns at rodenbach must be too low) and that there must be more oxygen getting in through the tun lids. I have used buckets with no vinegar issues, but i don't like tying them up that long (though they are cheaper than carboys- no wonder my wife calls me retarded)...

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:26 AM   #9
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oh also - i've never used the table leg method- but i don't think enough beer would wick that high to swell the leg- the dowels are dry at the neck of the carboy, and they are smaller diameter, so i would think capillarity would be greater- maybe not though...

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:56 PM   #10
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i'm thinking of doing a side by side one glass carboy and table leg and one better bottle with oak cubes and see what comes of each. thanks again for the great advice!

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